10 months ago
In early August, 8,000 Saudi students in Canadian universities were ordered to go home by their government because of the diplomatic conflict between two countries. Despite students were warned not to speak to media, two of them spoke to CBC News outlet anonymously. They said they were in fear of being jailed upon return home. At the moment, 20 Saudi students are seeking asylum. The Typical Student team learned more of the situation.
How Diplomacy Impacts Education
Source: Al Bawaba
At told by CBC News, the diplomatic feud began in early August when the Saudi government accused Canada of interfering with its internal affairs. The reason for this serious accusation allegedly was the call for the "immediate release" of detained Saudi women's rights activists from Global Affairs Canada.
Only 1,000 medical trainees were allowed to stay in Canada by the Saudi government, but all other students were instructed to leave. Two anonymous students who have been interviewed by CBC News, told they have not been contacted by the government after August 31.
Why Do Saudi Students Fear For Their Lives?
Despite Saudi Arabia is slowly introducing more progressive reforms regarding women’s rights, the society still has "very little tolerance for dissent." Farida Deif, Canadian director at Human Rights' Watch, commented on the situation:
"What we've seen most recently was that there were women's rights activists, for example, that have been sentenced to death for their peaceful activism, so it didn't come as a surprise that these individuals potentially fear for their safety."
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